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A&A Has Moved!

Monday, July 23, 2012
Hey all.  The day of change has arrived.  You are welcome to stay here and hang out...all these posts will be safe and sound here.  From here on out...you can find me at the new, improved, awesome:

amy allender {dot} com.


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...You just might end up with a new roof.

Sunday, July 22, 2012
Tomorrow is the big day.  The new blog...and new site will be launched.  {Hopefully.}  There will be a few bugs to work out in the coming days...but I'm launching it anyway.  I just can't wait to start writing there.  I just hope the change goes over smooth.

So be sure to come back tomorrow.  Hopefully you'll be redirected to the new site...if all goes according to plan.

I know I've been MIA lately.  I pinky swear all that will change after I make the blog switch over.

In the meantime...check out what we've been working on here at the house.

Do you remember reading the book: If you Give a Mouse a Cookie when you were a kid?  The story goes like this...a mouse in cute little overalls comes by and asks for a cookie.  But if you give him a cookie you can bet he'll want some milk.  When you give him milk he wants something else, and something else.

Basically it's a one thing leads to another tale.

And it's the tale of home improvement.

Last weekend Derek attempted to fix what we thought was just a clogged gutter...but if the gutter is clogged, you'll have to take it down.  And when you take it down you'll notice some damp wood.  And when you look behind the flashing you'll see the wood is rotten.

Then, you'll have to take the shingles off to replace the wood.  And when the shingles are off, you'll be told they no longer make that shape of shingle...so you'll have to replace the whole roof of the addition.

If you give a mouse a cookie, right?

So we took all the shingles off.  Wood has been replaced and the work continues...

Happy {almost} Monday.

See you tomorrow.


Fun with Self Portraits

Friday, July 20, 2012
I've been a busy bee.  Just working away to get my new website up and running ASAP.  I'm not a web designer by any stretch of the imagination...so this has been a major task.

But I know you are all going to like it.  It's so pretty.

I've been putting of one particular part of the site, however.  Portraits of myself. 

See, I'm not terrible in front of the camera.  It's just whenever I try to take a photo intentionally...I end up looking incredibly awkward.  Especially when I am taking the photo of myself.

So the new portraits have been just about the last thing on my list to do.  Today my lovely friend Allison and her lovely daughter Zoe were sweet enough to help me out.  They came along and made me laugh...and pushed the button on the camera.

Here's a sneak peek of what you'll see on the new site.

We found this hay bail.  Getting up was harder than expected.  Then when I got on top, I didn't know what to do.  Then I thought it'd be a cool idea to jump off and get photos in the air. 

But I get scared of heights sometimes.  So I chickened out.

The site is launching on Monday!  So get excited.

In the meantime I've got some landscaping to do and a roof to repair...


Saying Goodbye to Trudy

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Yesterday I lost someone very dear to me.

Her name was Trudy and I knew her her whole life.

She came to live with my family in 2001, shortly before my sister's senior prom...the year we had a foreign exchange student living with us...the year our high school performed "Anything Goes." 

It breaks my heart that I couldn't be there when she breathed her last.

Trudy was our family dog.

When she came home with us my cousin Erik was a tiny kid.  Maybe 3 or 4.  He used to call her "Baby Good Dog."  It's a nick-name that stuck.  From her puppy days to the days she spent slow and grey, she remained our Baby-Good-Dog. 

Originally we thought about breeding her...but she ate a soccer ball and had to have surgery on the belly to have it removed.  It rendered her puppy-less.  But she grew up to be the most mothering animal I've ever met.  We'd have to fight her to come out of the chicken coop, where she looked on the chicks as her babies.  She was gentle to our cats and wonderful with kids.  Really, she thought anything smaller than her was her baby.

oops!  She played a little too rough with this baby bunny.  She felt so guilty.
Once when I was baking cookies I left two sticks of butter on the counter.  When I came back 10 minutes later the butter was gone.  The wrappers were untorn, licked clean and stuck to the floor.

She was a pretty rotten jogging partner.  Her best friend in the world was Molly, the dog next door.

Trudy frustrated my dad to no end when it came to training.  She would get tired in the hunting field and just lay down--half way to the bird. 

I used to paint her toe nails before a big hunting trip.  Daddy hated it...but Trudy didn't seem to mind.

She would budge you out if you tried to lay in front of the fire.  She'd rather lay there until her head was so hot you couldn't stand to pet her. 

These are the memories and moments that make up the life of a pet.  The good things.  The naughty things.  In the end all the headaches and naughtiness don't really seem all that bad in hindsight.  All of those moments, just add up to form a clear picture of a dear member of the family.

She loved riding in the Jeep.  Sometimes, just opening the door was all the invitation she needed to jump in and "Kennel-Up."  I think she liked it because it smelled like Daddy and hunting and work.  And most of the time it meant she was going hunting.

I guess it's appropriate that her last moments were spent in the Jeep.  Dad and Sis helped her up {her legs just couldn't make the jump any more} and took her on one last drive.  A drive that ended in rest and relaxation and the end her pain.

Here's to Trudy.  One heck of a dog.

Revisiting a B&A {Crazy Yard Redo}

Saturday, July 14, 2012
I've been itching to start work on our new house.  However...I am making myself have a bit of restraint.  No fun house projects until my new website is up and running...and I've got the biz all set up here in Minot.

Only about another week.

Meanwhile Derek has discovered that we have a little re-roofing to do.

So while I chip away at my pre-fixing-the-house to do list...I've been reminiscing about our other homes and the amazing b&a's we've seen.  I wanted to revisit my all time favorite with you tonight.

Our house in Enid, OK was a hot mess when we moved in.  We spent {wait for it}...a grand total of $0 on this make over.  All it took was many hours of sweat and tears and a few scares from spiders.  Oh yeah, and a lot of lemonade.


I know it's hot...but what b&a can you make on your home?  I bet there is some small way you can give your house a pick-me-up without spending a dime.


Candy Stripes {Zoe 3 Month Session}

Friday, July 13, 2012
Today instead of boring you with more details about the move and the house...I thought I'd give you something to look at instead.

It's Zoe. 

You may remember her from a while back when I shared a new-born session I did at the hospital the day after she was born.  Well, as fate would have it, she now lives in Minot...with me!

I cannot wait to take her portraits as she grows.  Just look at those eyes!  She is one sweet girl and we had a great time romping in her romper in the green, green grass.

See you tomorrow!  {I have Internet at home now...hooray!!}


We are in!

Monday, July 9, 2012
I can't even start to believe that it's been 10 days since I've written to you.

I don't like that one bit.

But it's pretty inconvenient that we don't have internet at the house yet.  So whenever I need to get online I come over to the library.  Whenever I'm here I stake out the same table, by the same window and work for hours at a time.

I'm an Internet bum.

So I'll keep it short and sweet.  And I'll tell you that the cable guy comes on Thursday...we can chat more then.  I'm sure I'll be like a kid with a pixie stick high when I have all the Google I want.

This is sounding more pathetic by the minute.

Back to the point at hand.

We are in the house.  We own the house {well...the back actually paid for it...and we have a big IOU to the back...but it's our debt...}.  How about this:  We closed on the house!  The movers came so we have furniture.

Now, let me just tell you about the movers.  When they showed up at the door I was pretty nervous about my stuff.  I opened the door to find two teenagers on my porch.  Just two of them.  Fresh from high school.  Um...Hi...I have a 1000 lb piano in the truck...where's the real crew?

But skepticism aside they did fine.  Poor guys were at our place until 11pm unloading and setting up furniture.

They were short handed so I had to pitch in and do inventory as they unloaded the truck.  And let me tell you this:  when your stuff is put in a list and read off...it really occurs to you that you have too much junk.  Like whoa, baby way too much junk.

Seriously.  Look at this...a list of every furniture piece and loaded box in the truck.
And I'm only 25.  How did I accumulate such a massive collection.

So now I'm planning a yard sale.

Back to the story.  After last year's DIY move I'll say I like this much better.  Things were pretty chaotic, but Derek and I didn't throw our backs out lifting and moving.  Instead I checked off items and Derek drank soda on the porch.  We felt pretty guilty...but liability says we have to let them do the moving.

Once everything was inside it looked like King Tut's tomb.  A mass of boxes and furniture.  Stacked, layered, tilted on end...crammed into our little house.  After they left Derek and I took a look around and said..."Let's just go upstairs and pretend like it's all put away."

I unloaded and arranged in record time.  I did most of it solo while Derek was on a flight the following day.  It took about 13 hours to get everything sorted and all the boxes emptied {except the ones being stored in the basement...}  I think that's some kind of record.  Panda kitten was a big help.

So that's the story.  Things are shaping up.  Just how I like it.

Now, I'm afraid that I've got to get back to "real" work.  {ie: working on the new website, getting resumes put together...you know...the kind of work that isn't really fun at all.}

I'll see you again soon.


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